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Rain washes away Sporting's ambitions

Published:Tuesday | April 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Richard Bryan, Gleaner Writer

Rain cruelly ended the Digicel Premier League clash between Sporting Central Academy and Arnett Gardens after just one hour's play at Brancourt on Sunday.

Both teams were locked at 0-0 and the game shifted precariously on a knife's edge, as they seemed bent on eking out a positive start to a round which will decide the relegation candidates.

The home side seemed worse hit by the abortion, having got the game's best chance to score and appeared marginally better at handling the wet conditions which got significantly worse after the half-time interval.

Disappointed coach

"This is a game we were looking to win," Sporting's coach Vassell Reynolds told The Gleaner as he surveyed the field in anguish.

"We're coming off a big win at Rivoli and the plan was to run at them early as we knew they would want to play it safe after the way they lost the game against Harbour View (Arnett's previous encounter)."

The plan to attack Arnett early appeared right on cue as Andre Allen, promoted to a starting role after scoring in the big 4-0 rout against Rivoli, was sent clear in the second minute on goalie Damion Hyatt. However, Allen's inexperience was exposed as he made his angle too difficult and was forced to lob the keeper and the ball finished agonisingly over the crossbar.

With the imposing Newton Sterling double-teamed, Arnett's effective attacks came via the left wing through Kevin Wilson. However, Sporting's young goalie, Andre Blake, was never breached.

Kevin King took two good shots that came close to the interval as Arnett picked up the momentum through the substitution of Cornel Chin-Sue, on for Severo Murphy.

Referee Rayond Bogle's decision to end the game seemed fair, given the regular slippage of players even across the grassy, compact surface. Soaking officials on the touchline may also have helped.